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2.12.2006 

The short story

These days are full of small joys. Cael is growing quicker than I could have predicted, and it's difficult to grasp the moments of his life that I now know are slipping away. It's a strange love that I have for him--Ami seems to have figured out that part of parenting a lot better than I have. I love him and enjoy him, but the euphoria of the early days have worn off, and our relationship just seems "normal." Perhaps that's natural. I'm not sure. None of this is anything I know or understand.

Classes continue to go well. I feel like I'm studying less this spring than I ever have and probably thinking more. Part of that is because I've learned enough to begin really thinking about the Bible on my own, and part of it is because I'm just moving away from being as invested in the classroom learning style as I have been in the past. Grades are beginning to mean a lot less. I'd much rather read and think and write than have a professor try to indoctrinate me into his point of view on a subject and then be tested on how well I regurgitate it back to him. Not that that's completely the model of instruction at Covenant, but then again, it sort of is.

Lately reading Peter Enns' book "Inspiration and Incarnation," as well as a lot of other reading I've done for an Independent study on Old Testament narrative has raised a lot of questions in my mind about genre and nature of the Bible itself. I'm really struggling to understand how I'm supposed to really cooperate with the text on its own terms and not get swallowed up into a whirlstorm of questions and unrealized assumptions that I then suddenly begin to wonder about. The short story is this: Enns tries to use the catagory of "myth" for Genesis, and there's a sense in which I'm comfortable with that, and another I'm not, and there's another part of me that wonders if I should be comfortable with it at all. I'm still working through the details of my wonderings.

In all, the reading I've done for the study on narrative has been excellent, and I'm now working toward a thesis question I'll try to answer in a longish (30 page) paper for the rest of the semester.

Books I've read so far for the study:

G. Wenham, "Story as Torah"
R. Alter, "Art of Biblical Narrative"
M. Sternberg, "Poetics of Biblical Narrative"
P. Enns, "Inspiration and Incarnation"
V. Long, "Art of the Biblical History"
R. Parry, "Old Testament Story and Christian Ethics"
Parts of others...

Joshua- your reading list is really well conceived for this issue; I hope that you don't mind sharing your semester paper with me - I would really appreciate reading the fruits of your labors.

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